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Gluten sensitivity, what is that you ask. Gluten is a protein found in the endosperm of grains, especially wheat, rye, spelt and barley. It constitutes about 80% of the proteins in wheat, and is composed of the proteins gliadin, and glutenin. Gluten is also used as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent found in ice cream, soy sauce, ketchup, beer, and many other food items. Gluten provides elasticity to dough, which gives breads and bagels their chewiness.
It is estimated that somewhere between 3 and 10 million people have gluten sensitivity just in the U.S. alone. That’s a large quantity of people who are over eating food that is inflammatory.
Some of my clients are rehabbing various joint and spinal injuries so it is important to understand that one of the primary ways that gluten affects people is through inflammation.
It’s actually been shown that there are protein components within gluten that can attach to the cartilage and create inflammation in the joints, prolonging knee, hip, shoulder and low back pain. This inflammation not only prolongs an injury, but in some cases pre-disposes a person to injury. The bio-chemistry becomes very important because although exercise is extremely beneficial in rehabilitation remember that the building blocks for the joints, the cartilage, the tendon, the bone, and the muscle come from bio-chemistry. It comes from what we eat directly.
If those foods are promoting an inflammatory process or an inflammatory pathway, then what is actually going to happen is we are not going to have adequate recovery. We see this example many times with professional athletes who are prone to injury. They have the best rehab specialists in the world at their fingertips yet they continue to injure themselves. One of the biggest reasons happens to be some of the food they are eating. Talking specifically about Gluten and how that can effect things.
We know that certain foods like hydrogenated fats create an inflammatory kind of chemistry within the body. We also know that eating a diet high in grains and processed grains causes inflammation in the gut which in turn through bio-chemistry causes inflammation in many other parts of the body. For example; One of my clients was diagnosed by her physician with rheumatoid arthritis. Upon my suggestion, she completely eliminated gluten from her diet. She'd been on numerous prescription drugs (some with awful side effects). The very first day of her gluten-free diet was amazing. After years of hell, her pain and suffering surprisingly disappeared. She stopped taking the drugs and has never looked back. That positive response has also been found in clients with osteoarthritis as well. I know the focus here is joint rehabilitation, but just a side note, I also have a client who was diagnosed with depression and put on anti-depression meds (which are horrible for your body & mind) and with a change to a gluten free diet, she is now off meds and feeling quite happy and normal again.
Here are some conditions related to Gluten Intolerance; (If you have any of these conditions, you may have gluten sensitivity)
Alcoholism, Arthritis, Allergies, Anemia, Brain Fog, Hypothyroid, Candida, Infertility, Depression, Rosacea, IBS, Chronic Fatigue, Diabetes, Eating Disorders, Osteoporosis, Autoimmune Disease, Celiac Disease, Hypoglycemia, Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Gut Inflammation.
Symptoms of gluten intolerance can vary per individual. Children may experience allergies, asthma, anemia, a constant upset stomach, or milk intolerance.
Gluten intolerance is often misdiagnosed or undetected. One estimate says that 97% of all sufferers (non-celiac gluten sensitivity) don’t even know they’re intolerant to gluten since most doctors are unfamiliar with it. Even more astonishing is a review in the New England Journal of Medicine which listed 55 diseases caused by gluten! Many of the diseases are neurological and psychiatric including anxiety, migraines, epilepsy, neuropathy, schizophrenia, dementia, depression, and autism.
If you have any of the conditions discussed in this article, removing wheat and gluten from your diet should be high on your list of priorities.